Horse-riding banned at Colaba's Cooperage ground after death of 6-year old girl
The death of a six-year-old girl in a horse riding accident at Colaba’s Cooperage ground has led to the activity being banned completely. The diktat, issued by the city’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), came to force on Wednesday.
The BMC has asked the Colaba police to enforce the ban on an immediate basis, citing the Bombay High Court ruling of 2015 that prohibited all horse-drawn carriages in the city under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. This also meant that none of the horse trainers’ licenses have since been reviewed.
The police have detained the accused horse handler, Soham Jaiswal, for not ensuring minimum security for his young riders. While the horses have been placed in temporary care, their fate remains yet to be decided. Further, a review of the contract given to Ms Opera Infra Projects, the contractor responsible for the complete maintenance of the grounds has also been initiated by the municipal authorities.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, a notice asking the contractor to explain its position read, "The incident happened owing to negligence at your end, despite security instructions and a board displaying that horses shall not be allowed in the garden. Hence, you are hereby directed to explain immediately why your contract shall not be terminated."
The accident occurred as Manju and Mahendra Mistry took their daughter Janhavi, and her young cousin, Parth for an outing to the Cooperage ground. While Janhavi’s father was inside the car, her mother had let her go on the horse-drawn joy ride.
The young girl fell off the speeding cart during the ride and was returned back to her mother with severe bleeding from her head. Despite being taken to Bombay hospital immediately, she suffered chronic convulsions and passed away. The required security precaution of gearing all riders with helmets would have saved the child’s life had it been implemented.